Tag: Fox Cities Performing Arts Center

Kaleidoscope: “A buffet of the largest and richest variety”

Since its first performance in 2006, Lawrence University’s Kaleidoscope — a 75-minute musical extravaganza — has literally entertained thousands.

The sixth iteration of Kaleidoscope returns Saturday, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. to the stage — and the floor and balconies — of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, 400 W. College Ave., Appleton.

Tickets, at $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and $7 for students, are available at both the Lawrence University Box Office, 920-832-6749, and the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center Box Office, 920-730-3760.Kaleidososcope concert finale with symphony orchestra and choir

From Bernstein to Balinese gamelan, the symphony orchestra to saxophone quartet, choir to chamber ensemble, Kaleidoscope showcases the musical talents of 300 Lawrence students in 15 ensembles.

“Kaleidoscope allows the listener to experience an extremely wide range of musical styles in one sitting,” said Andrew Mast, Kimberly-Clark Professor of Music, associate dean of the conservatory and director of bands, who is coordinating the concert for the second time in its history. “Virtually every area of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music is represented in this 75-minute presentation of non-stop, back-to-back performances. If music was food, Kaleidoscope is a buffet of the largest and richest variety.”

Gawain Usher, a senior from Shoreham Vt., will be performing in his second Kaleidoscope concert, this time as principal viola with the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra.

“For both performer and viewer this concert is a non-stop rollercoaster ride of excellent performances ranging from the intimate to the extravagant. It really offers a wonderful snapshot of what we do at the Lawrence conservatory,” said Usher, a self-described avid chamber music performer. “As a musician getting the opportunity to play at the PAC on the big stage is special. For us instrumentalists, we crave the opportunities to perform in the big halls because it’s something we don’t usually get to do.

“If music was food, Kaleidoscope is a buffet of the largest and richest variety.”
— Andrew Mast, Kimberly-Clark Professor of Music

Lawrence gamelan at Kaleidscope concert“For anyone thinking about going or not going to this concert,” Usher added, “even if you think you don’t like classical music, you will love Kaleidoscope. The whirlwind of performances from different eras, cultures and instrumentations will surely leave you feeling invigorated.”

Senior Kin Le from Hanoi, Vietnam, a soprano in Lawrence’s Concert Choir, calls Kaleidoscope “the most exciting moment that performers and audience can experience together.”

“The spectrum of sounds from various ensembles seemingly come from every corner of the auditorium — from the main stage to the balcony,” said Le, who will be singing in her second Kaleidoscope concert. “The audience members get to immerse themselves in so many different performances in just 75 minutes.”

A singing duet at the Kaleidoscope concertRegardless of one’s tastes, Kaleidoscope6 —  as its name implies — is sure to offer at least one irresistible musical morsel in its 17-piece program. Among the tasty samples will be some Mozart (Mozart Chamber Winds) and Benjamin Britten (opera soloists), Astor Piazzolla (cello ensemble) and Philip Glass (saxophone quartet). The Cantala women’s choir performs its version of Natasha Bedingfield’s contemporary hit “Unwritten” while the symphony orchestra honors Leonard Bernstein with a performance of his “Overture to Candide.”

Works by two composers with local ties — John Harmon and the late Fred Sturm, both Lawrence graduates — will be highlighted by the Lawrence Viking Bassoon Ensemble and the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble, respectively.

Closing the concert, and encompassing the entire array of Kaleidoscope performers, will be an encore presentation of “The Music Makers,” a massive seven-minute work written by Emmy Award-winning composer and 2010 Lawrence graduate Garth Neustadter. “The Music Makers” made its world premiere at the 2015 Kaleidoscope concert.

As a prelude to the concert, art work created by six student studio art majors will be displayed in the PAC lobby.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence takes “The Beggar’s Opera” to the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center

Lawrence University Opera makes its Fox Cities Performing Arts Center debut Feb. 25-28 with four performances of John Gay’s revolutionary “The Beggar’s Opera” in the Kimberly-Clark Theater.

Performances Thursday, Feb. 25- Saturday Feb. 27 begin at 7:30 p.m. A matinee performance on Sunday, Feb. 28 begins at 3 p.m. Tickets, at $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 for students, are available at the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749 or the PAC Box Office, 920-730-3760.

Beggars-Opera_newsblog1
Elena Stabile as Polly Peachum and Mitchell Kasprzyk as Captain Macheath perform in Lawrence’s production of “The Beggar’s Opera.”

Written by Gay as an English counter-response to 18th-century Italian opera, “The Beggar’s Opera” challenges conventional ideas of criminal and governing factions, of love and necessity. The revolutionary opera changed theatre for the next two centuries, introducing the use of popular songs and ballads of the time in a biting satire on English government and society.

At the time, men called thief-takers received stolen goods from thieves and returned them to their rightful owners for a fee. Knowing the names and crimes of each thief they dealt with, the thief-takers could, if not provided enough bounty, turn him over to the authorities for a 40 £ reward. The authorities profitably cooperated with thief-takers in this corrupt system.

“John Gay and his fellow satirists observed and railed against the corruption in the magistrates and elected officials,” said Copeland Woodruff, director of opera studies and stage director of the production. “‘The Beggar’s Opera’ is rife with these antitheses, pointing out that Lords are no more upstanding that the Highwaymen.”

The opera follows the tale of Peachum, thief-taker and informer, who conspires to send dashing and promiscuous highwayman Macheath to the gallows after Macheath has secretly married Peachum’s daughter, Polly. The result is a tale of chase and escape, of thieves and prostitutes, of love and loss, all told by the Beggar, who insists that the performance be viewed like all other fashionable operas of the time. In reality, of course, “The Beggar’s Opera” deliberately breaks away from the form of any opera before it.

Woodruff credited his experience working with the PAC last fall on his special “Expressions of Acceptance” micro-operas event for the location change from Lawrence’s Stansbury Theatre to the downtown venue.Beggar's-Opera_newsblog-4

“After planning the micro-operas there and meeting and working with the wonderful, generous team at the PAC, it seemed a perfect fit for this opera,” said Woodruff. “The Kimberly-Clark Theater has a very intimate feeling and the audience will be feet away from performers in a piece that is of the people and by the people.”

Guest conductor Hal France directs the orchestra, while Bonnie Koestner serves as music director and vocal coach. Choreography was designed by Margaret Paek and fight choreography by J. Christopher Carter. Michael J. Barnes served as the production’s accent coach.

In the double-cast production, sophomores Ian Grimshaw and John Perkins share the role of Mr. Peachum. Senior Elena Stabile and junior Lizzie Burmeister portray Polly Peachum, while seniors Mitchell Kasprzyk and David Pecsi portray Captain Macheath. seniors Kelsey Wang and Katie Mueller share the role of Lucy Lockit.

In addition to live music played my members of the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra during the opera, Holy Sheboygan!, a local band of Lawrence alumni, will play a pre-opera concert beginning 30 minutes before the start of each day’s performance as well as during two 10-minute intermissions.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.